Once again I have entered into a debate with John Redwood, this time on Cameron’s fixation of holding an EU referendum in 2017. Like the disciple Peter, thrice Redwood denies the truth, namely in this instance that a Convention and IGC is necessary where treaty change is to occur.
From the comments section:
Posted February 1, 2014 at 12:27 pm | Permalink
Mr. Redwood, I am at a total loss to understand this fixation with a referendum in 2017 and Cameron’s stated aim of renegotiating the treaties.
He can no more renegotiate the treaties than I can, yet you continue to write about this. Surely you both know – and if you don’t, you should do – that treaty change requires a Convention followed by an IGC – a process that will take longer than 2 years.
As a result, were a referendum to be held in 2017, on what would the public being asked to decide? A ‘status quo’ which was in the course of being changed – the outcome of which would be unknown? Does it really matter then, that a nonsensical bill has been lost?
This ridiculous agenda that Cameron proposes – and which is supported by you and others in the Conservative Party – has to cease. Its continuation is misleading the British electorate and I would suggest that misleading the electorate is a heinous crime – but then it is a practice in which the political class excel; and have done so for decades.
And still you and your ilk wonder why politicians are held in such low esteem?
Reply I want people to have the opportunity to vote to leave the EU. If you are right and the rest of the EU will not offer Mr Cameron a better deal then I suggest it makes exit that much more likely. Why complain?
David PhippsPosted February 1, 2014 at 4:16 pm | Permalink
Your response is most logical, Mr. Redwood. Unfortunately I note that like all politicians you duck the question I posed. To repeat: how can Cameron renegotiate the treaties and put a question to the electorate by 2017 when he has no power to change the treaties and when he has to undergo the process of Convention and IGC which will take more than 2 years?
That about which I complain has nothing to do with his intentions, merely his continual deception of the public by maintaining that he will do that which he cannot -and which you and your ilk,together with the Conservative Party mouthpiece Open Europe, publicly support.
And what of the Spinelli Group’s suggestion for a new Treaty and their call for those member states that will not join the Euro to become ‘Associate’ members? Or is that a subject that will not be broached with the public until it becomes unavoidable?
Reply In EU affairs there is no fixed way of proceeding. If the other states wanted to help him they could do so quite quickly after 2015, as the states did who signed a non EU Fiscal Treaty recently.
David PhippsPosted February 1, 2014 at 6:18 pm | Permalink
If by Fiscal Treaty you are referring to The Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union, otherwise known as the Fiscal compact then that is to be incorporated into the Treaties within the next 4 years.
Where the next step from the LisbonTreaty is concerned – and it is coming as you would know if you paid attention to ‘matters EU’ – is by ‘treaty change’ and that can only be accomplished by a Convention and an IGC. Merkel has already hinted at it and Barroso is due to give a speech prior to the May elections.
One of Cameron’s aims is to change immigration rules, which encroaches on the principle of free movement. Has not Barroso and Reding not stated that this is a ‘no-go’ area? Cameron attempts to change welfare requirements but cannot as it infringes that same principle of free movement.
With treaty change coming, you honestly believe the Commission is going to allow some states to’fix things” to their own advantage – especially where the ‘four freedom’s are concerned? If so then I have to say you are deluded; and no offence is intended by my use of the word deluded’.
Come Spring it is my intention to hold a public meeting, once I have found a suitable venue, the subject of which will be ‘Democracy – and why we haven’t got it’. This will encompass the deficits of representative democracy and the European Union – care to attend and turn it into a public debate?
I extend the invitation to you – or any other MP, regardless of party – as my MP has publicly informed me that he has no further intention to answer questions I have previously posed him. When an MP can adopt such an attitude then democracy, per se, truly is dead.
Reply As I have repeatedly said, if the other states will not engage in a UK renegotiation then the people have the opportunity to vote to leave. I suspect a way will be found to change the Treaties. The EU is constantly changing and evolving the way it works, as they did during the Euro crisis.
Not that Redwood is alone in apparently not being able to see that which is in front of his nose. Either this is because (a) he genuinely does not understand ‘matters EU’; or (b) he has been sat on by the whips and is another Carswell; or, more likely, (c) sitting on a healthy majority in his Wokingham constituency, he cares not one fig about his constituents or parliamentary sovereignty and is just in politics for the power and position it affords him.
In my reply to Redwood I wrote about what I termed the heinous crime of misleading the public – and it would seem there is a conspiracy involving politicians and journalists. Witness Matthew d’Ancona with his op-ed in today’s Telegraph in which he writes:
When David Cameron addresses his plans for a referendum on EU membership, he does so with a confidence that increasingly commands respect and attention.
How d’Ancona has the barefaced affront to pen such a sentence escapes me entirely -is he too uneducated about ‘matters EU’ or have pieces of silver also changed hands? Booker aside,just when is a journalist going to report the actualité?
Neither does Janet Daley escape censure with her comment that Dominic Raab was subjected to public character assassination that stopped just short of libel. So he should have been because for an MP with a legal background to propose an amendment which, if he knew anything about ‘matters EU’, he should know was pointless beggars belief.
Daley continues her article by writing about the position of voters amid the shenanigans that occurred in Parliament last week; to whom does an MP’s responsibility lie; that the democratic process, both here and in the United States, is in crisis; and that the voice of the people is routinely ignored by politicians. If all that is true – which it undoubtedly is – then it is unbelievable that someone like Daley is unable to take the next logical step and realise that the system of democracy currently practiced needs to be changed.
In conclusion one can only presume that journalists, like politicians, always offer their opinions from an upright position – as to do so from one sedentary would make their opinions impossible to hear.*
* Credit for that observation must go to an email correspondent of mine whose identity, for the moment, must remain known only to me.